avoiding digital transformation software implementation

How To Avoid A DX Software Implementation Failure?

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Worried about how to avoid a DX software implementation failure?

This is indeed an important question as you may risk the success of your software product if you get it wrong.

Companies that get their software development right stand to gain enormous financial success. Here’re a few amazing case studies of companies who hired DevTeam.Space to build their software products:

  1. SideKick Education – Education Web App
  2. Vehicle Recognition System – Machine Learning Image Recognition System
  3. Rever – Mapping App with Social Media Functions


1. Obtain up-front commitment for successful digital transformation software implementation
2. Embrace the “Agile way” when you develop software for digital transformation
3. Prioritize business value over technology during digital transformation software implementation
4. Invest in leadership for successful digital transformation software implementation
5. Obtain a budget to implement software for digital transformation
6. Manage the digital transformation software implementation effectively
7. Onboard the right people
Final Thoughts

1. Obtain up-front commitment for successful digital transformation software implementation

The lack of organizational commitment stands as the most common reason for digital transformation failure. This can happen due to the following reasons:

  • You might have obtained a commitment from some senior leaders in the organization but not all.
  • Senior leaders might have committed to the digital transformation project, however, they went back on their commitment. They probably feel that it will bring too much disruption.
  • You might not have received an adequate commitment from middle management. As a result, they hadn’t prepared to support the project.

You can avoid this. Do the following:

  • Prepare a strong business case for the digital transformation project.
  • Use analytical data points while preparing the business case, however, don’t stop at that. Help the people in your organization to feel the importance of the project.
  • Show the urgency for the digital transformation project using tangible aspects. Explain to people the impacts of not executing the project.
  • Help the people in your organization to visualize the positive changes that the proposed project will bring. Develop a vision that the organization shares collectively.
  • Involve all stakeholders that the project will impact and gain buy-in from all of them. Don’t convince the top management alone!
  • Take time to obtain a commitment from all relevant areas in your organization. Communicating the importance of a digital transformation can take plenty of time.


2. Embrace the “Agile way” when you develop software for digital transformation

Your organization could find a digital transformation project redundant mid-way and abandon it. This happens if you don’t think through the dynamic nature of business and technology. Digital transformation projects can be long drawn out and complex. If you define all objectives up-front, then they could become obsolete. Your organization could abandon the project due to this.


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How can you avoid this? Do the following:

  • Break your project down to manageable components.
  • Define the objectives of the first component and deliver it in a time-bound manner. Demonstrate the tangible gain of this iteration to your organization. This convinces your organization that you’re on the right track.
  • Assess the business and technology scenario and define relevant objectives for the next iteration.
  • Take on the subsequent iterations one by one in this way and deliver results.

We are asking you to embrace the “Agile way” so that you can deliver tangible gain in iterations.

3. Prioritize business value over technology during digital transformation software implementation

Prioritize tangible business value over technology. If you focus on technology-centric priorities, then you could derail your digital transformation project.

Many businesses see digital transformations from the prism of technology modernization. E.g., they might aim to replace their legacy IT infrastructure and applications as part of this transformation. This often results in the following:

  • The organization undertakes a major project to replace legacy IT assets.
  • Such a replacement takes a lot of time and consumes resources.
  • The organization can’t show tangible value even after a significant time.
  • The lack of business value prompts the organization to abandon the transformation altogether.

Do the following to avoid this:

  • Choose customer-focused objectives for the digital transformation.
  • Prioritize the customer-centric objectives over any technology-centric objective. You could modernize your legacy IT infrastructure and applications as part of the transformation, however, that’s secondary.
  • Align all the stakeholders to focus on the success of the customer instead of technology.
  • Deliver tangible value to customers incrementally, using the “Agile” way.
  • Avoid getting bogged down in expensive technology modernization without tangible business value.


4. Invest in leadership for successful digital transformation software implementation

Focus on leadership for the success of digital transformation software implementation. The lack of leadership can derail such projects. Inadequate leadership can manifest in many ways, e.g.:

  • The project sponsor doesn’t remove the roadblocks.
  • The change leaders don’t proactively plan and execute the project.
  • Your team lacks adequate project management focus.
  • At the level of the software development team, there’s a lack of technical leadership.

You can remedy this in the following ways:

  • Find leaders that can navigate the organizational complexities.
  • Choose a project sponsor that has fully bought into the benefits of the project. Such a project sponsor will proactively remove the roadblocks impacting the project instead of taking a reactive approach.
  • Build your change leadership team by inducting people from all areas of your organization impacted by the project. Choose proactive people in the change leadership team.
  • Identify a hands-on PM that demonstrates a proactive approach during planning, execution, and tracking/control of the project.
  • Onboard hands-on leaders for all the technical teams, e.g., development, testing, DevOps, etc.
  • Keep the team focused on delivering tangible business value to your customers.

You can read “The role of leaders in digital transformation” to learn about the importance of leadership in such projects.

5. Obtain a budget to implement software for digital transformation

You need a sufficient budget to develop and implement software for digital transformation. Organizations often get the budgeting wrong for digital transformation, which brings failure. Wrong budgeting can happen due to various reasons, e.g.:

  • The project team estimates the project incorrectly. The team might have used outdated estimation models and haven’t accounted for the complexities. This could result in insufficient budget allocation.
  • You might have asked for a high budgetary allocation by citing the technical objectives alone. You might not have projected tangible business outcomes. As a result, the senior leadership sees no value in allocating the budget you have asked for.

Do the following when asking for budgetary approvals:

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  • Align the requested budgetary allocation to specific business objectives. This helps the senior management in your organization to understand the business value you would deliver. It also helps the organizational leadership to establish accountability for the money it will spend.
  • Ask for budgetary allocation for one iteration at a time. When you complete the iteration and deliver tangible business outcomes, it demonstrates that you delivered what you committed. This helps to get the budget for the subsequent iteration.
  • Demonstrate transparency at all times.

Read more about this in “How to budget a digital transformation initiative despite unknown risks”.

6. Manage the digital transformation software implementation effectively

Manage the project effectively so that the digital transformation succeeds. Project management failures can manifest in various forms, e.g.:

  • Ineffective planning, which can include flawed technical solution, unrealistic schedule, etc.;
  • Insufficient project control and monitoring.

You can remedy this.

Plan the project meticulously and cover the following:

  • Project requirements management;
  • Project management systems including risk management plan, communications management plan, etc;
  • Project schedule;
  • The technical solution including the cloud infrastructure, application security, software architecture, technology stack, tools/frameworks;
  • Quality management including the right metrics and measurement systems.

Focus on the following when executing the project:

  • Hire competent developers, testers, UI designers, and DevOps engineers;
  • Organize the team with a focus on collaboration and productivity;
  • Provide the required tools and accesses to the team;
  • Direct the team according to the project plan and schedule;
  • Conduct reviews and testing per the project plan;
  • Timely reporting to stakeholders per the project communications management plan.

Monitor and control the project with a focus on the following:

  • Meeting or exceeding the scope, budget, schedule, and quality objectives of the project;
  • Periodic reviews of project metrics;
  • Course-correction in the case of deviation from the project cost, schedule, and quality goals;
  • Independent audits to ensure that the project conforms to relevant regulations and industry-specific standards.

Read “5 ways project management can help you hack digital transformation” to learn the importance of project management in this project.

7. Onboard the right people

You need the right people for a successful digital transformation software implementation. The lack of skills and competence in your team can adversely impact the project in various ways. A few examples are the following:

  • You could set your eyes on the wrong objectives if you don’t have competent digital transformation consultants and business analysts.
  • Your software architecture and the technical solution could be flawed if you don’t have an experienced software architect.

Hire the following experts in your digital transformation team:

  • A project manager (PM);
  • A digital transformation consultant;
  • Business analysts;
  • A software architect;
  • A cloud architect;
  • A UI design lead;
  • A development lead;
  • A test lead;
  • A DevOps lead.

Look for a credible track record in digital transformation projects.

Subsequently, you need to hire developers, UI designers, testers, and DevOps engineers to form a complete team. You should look for technical expertise, professional ethics, knowledge of software engineering, industry knowledge, and an ability to collaborate. Read our guide “How to find a good software developer” for more insights.

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Final thoughts

In this article, we reviewed the key risks that could derail a digital transformation software implementation and how to mitigate them. If you need help with such a project, please contact us at DevTeam.Space. We will promptly help!

Frequently Asked Question

What is DX software?

DX stands for digital transformation. It allows businesses to incorporate digital technologies into their operational process in order to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. 

How to implement software into my business?

The most important part of any software implementation is to create a comprehensive plan for all steps of the integration process. This includes everything from training to the transfer of data.

How to build a business software solution?

If you have software development experience then you can onboard developers with the skills that you need. Alternatively, the best route is to hire managed developers or development teams from an experienced company such as DevTeam.Space. 


Alexey Semeney

Founder of DevTeam.Space

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